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Mood at Occupy Wall Street Increasingly Anti-Police

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Henry Stewart
The L Magazine
Oct 3, 2011

The mood at Occupy Wall Street has become as much anti-police as it had been anti-capitalism. On Friday, several thousand people left the movement’s base at Zuccotti Park in Downtown Manhattan, just a block from the Freedom Tower, and marched up the sidewalks of Broadway and Park Row to NYPD headquarters, bordered by a line of police and stopping traffic as they crossed the street. Three helicopters, presumably police, buzzed overhead.

Protestors chanted “racist, sexist, anti-gay! NYPD go away!” as they walked in a line led by three members of Grannies for Peace. At the rally outside 1 Police Plaza, speakers criticized recent and past actions of the police. (Last Monday, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna deployed pepper spray, apparently unprovoked, on several women and then, in a separate incident, on a news photographer.)

The cops have prohibited the protestors from using sound amplifiers like megaphones, so demonstrators are employing a system called the People’s Microphone: a speaker says a few words, which are repeated in shouts by those nearby, which are repeated by those a little farther back, until it has passed in a wave through the whole crowd. (It’s charming but, ultimately, an exhausting way to communicate.)

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Speakers also asked the crowd to remain calm and peaceful, which it did—no one was arrested; much of the crowd marched back down to Zuccotti Park when the speeches ended shortly after 7 p.m. (Another march on Saturday across the Brooklyn Bridge resulted in the arrests of 700 people, the AP reported.)

Earlier in the day at the park, a crowd of hundreds grew over the afternoon into thousands. Many in the park said it was the largest attendance they’d seen since the protests began almost two weeks ago. Some were Radiohead fans responding to rumors earlier in the day that the band would play at 4 p.m. Some were press. (“There’s probably $25 million of camera equipment in here,” one reporter cracked to me.)

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This article was posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

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